“I just rolled down that hill, giggling the whole way. That makes today an Amazing Day.”
So I introduced one a table of new friends to my Amazing Days approach to life in a college cafeteria. I was 19.
Since sometime in high school, I had been using the term Amazing Day to describe anything that made a day unusual, silly, daring, faithful or bold. Little did I know, we would remember that day for something far more amazing than my roll down the hill on Observatory Drive at the University of Wisconsin. The demure and freckled beauty to my right was more than up for any adventure I could concoct. She wanted to live adventures that mattered. And we would live those together.
No Crusty Old People
Two and a half years later, a week after Chrissy’s graduation and a year before mine, we got married. We scrawled the words Amazing Days on a sheet of paper and taped it to the side of our fridge. We refused to be that couple who dried up into crusty old people (or worse yet, crusty young people).
We had both given our lives to Jesus years before, and we believed that gave us an excuse to do more than just trudge through life waiting to land in heaven someday. We trusted that God had saved us to glorify him here in the present, and that meant embracing whatever adventures God led us into as we offered to serve him each day.
So our Amazing Days list grew over the weeks and months and years to include some strange events:
- invited runaway street kids over to make soup
- gathered friends together for meal consisting entirely of fried foods
- gave out carloads of day-old bread
- explored a labyrinth of tunnels under the University of Wisconsin
- made snow angels
- preached in a sweltering cinder block church
- rode a motorcycle through eight countries in eight days
- built a treehouse
- moved to Nicaragua… then China… then South Africa… and then back to the U.S.
The Amazing Days list was like a beacon in the center of our home reminding us to always stay romantic, silly, adventuresome, attuned to divine promptings and beyond-a-shadow-of-a-doubt alive. Intentionally living and tracking Amazing Days drew us out of the mundane ruts of life and into small (and large) attempts to make the most of life.
A basic rule of improv acting is to say yes to anything proposed. We try to live the same way. When Chrissy or I voice one of these “what if” ideas, we smile and say, “Amazing Day!” thereby prepping ourselves to live out whatever craziness we have just uttered.
What About Church?
I’m sad that sometimes it seems our churches often lack such faithful imagination, an adventurous expectation of Amazing Days, of “What is the Spirit doing next?” Christians are often just as content with the status quo as the rest of society. Jesus and his disciples said really hard stuff that we don’t seem to be taking seriously:
- “Sell your possessions and give to the poor” (Matthew 19:21).
- “Those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples” (Luke 14:33).
- “When you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed” (Luke 14:13-14).
- You “will do even greater things than these” (John 14:12).
- “Look after orphans and widows” (James 1:27).
- “Worship in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4:24).
The church is the community with which we live these out.
We’ve been inside churches on four continents, from the tin-roofed Nicaraguan homes blasting speakers across the neighborhood, to packed Chinese apartments, to a South African hut with a decrepit tractor outside, to our current Wisconsin school auditorium church plant. Whether inside or outside these buildings, the church is where we find the people willing to live amazingly for the kingdom of God.
It’s with these people we let our children chase goats and collect glass shards during “Sunday school” hour, we read the whole New Testament aloud in a night, we shared washing machines and pick-up trucks, we cried through suicides, abortions and HIV tests, we took Somali refugees to volleyball games and took Albanian visitors square dancing.
“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
Might God be calling you and your church to more Amazing Days?
- Read our review of This Ordinary Adventure: Settling Down Without Settling by Christine and Adam Jeske.
- Buy a copy of This Ordinary Adventure: Settling Down Without Settling by Christine and Adam Jeske.
(© 2012 by Christine and Adam Jeske)